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Google's new media streamer is little more than a novelty for now

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On the one hand, the Nexus Q is a sophisticated, beautiful device with such a fine-grained degree of engineering you can't help but respect it. It feels like a mysterious piece of alien technology that's beamed straight down to your bookshelf. It also feels like alien technology in that we have no idea what to do with the thing.

Sure, it can stream music or movies, but we have dozens of other ways of doing that already, and nearly all of them offer plenty more functionality. Even the $99 Apple TV is hugely more flexible than this Android-powered device, and that's a curious state of affairs. The Nexus Q is an impressive piece of hardware that, given time and a serious augmentation of capability, could mature into a very exciting little thing. Right now, though, the Q feels like a high-priced novelty. A very nice novelty, but a novelty nevertheless.

Critic reviews

5.5
14 reviews
  • Media support
    3.8
  • Video quality
    6.8
  • Audio quality
    8.1
  • Ease of use
    5.7
  • Design and form factor
    8.2

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User reviews

6.2
6 reviews
7.0
Engadget Jul 6, 2012

Google's curious little media streamer is a beauty to behold but offers an unfortunate combination of high price and limited functionality.

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5.0
CNET Jun 28, 2012

The Nexus Q's striking, orblike hardware can't outweigh the extreme limitations of this Android-only, Google-only media streamer.

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5.0
Wired Jul 2, 2012

So, what does the Nexus Q compete with? Nothing, really. At least nothing that’s available on the shelves right now. It’s an entirely unique product made for a very narrow audience, and its limitations will likely prevent it from succeeding as a consumer device.

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5.0
Gizmodo Jul 3, 2012

For everybody else, this would be a cool novelty item (or it will be if once the bugs are worked out), but most people aren't going to pay that much for a novelty item. If Google can add more features and cut the price down, then it just might be impulse-buyable. Until then, this is a pass.

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5.0
New York Times Jul 5, 2012

Google must have bigger plans for this thing. It’s wildly overbuilt for its incredibly limited functions, and far too expensive. For now, I can think of only one class of customer who should consider buying the black Nexus Q sphere: people whose living rooms are dominated by bowling-ball...

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5.0
Laptop Magazine Jul 12, 2012

Though the Nexus Q is a beautiful and easy-to-use piece of hardware, it suffers from a dearth of content and an unjustifiably high price.

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4.0
PC Mag Jul 3, 2012

Google's Nexus Q is a good-looking media hub, but its meager app selection and reliance on Android devices don't come close to justifying its high price.

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4.0
Popular Science Jul 19, 2012

Presumably Google will build out the Nexus Q, considering how powerful and well-made it is physically, but at the moment, it's so half-baked that I can't imagine recommending it to anyone. It costs more, does less, and works worse than its competitors.

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9.0
SlashGear Jul 2, 2012

With this device you’ve got an Apple TV for nearly every single Android device on the market, and since it is a Nexus device, Google has in so many words encouraged us to hack it ... Will people buy it at $299? That’s a different story entirely.

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6.0
Mashable Jun 29, 2012

The Q isn’t on sale just yet, and that’s probably a really good thing. In its current form the software is too buggy to make it worth using at all, much less shelling out $300 for.

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5.0
TechRadar Jul 2, 2012

Currently, there are so many other devices that do exactly what you'd expect the Nexus Q to do, stream the media content that you currently consume, for much less money.

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7.0
Geek.com Jul 4, 2012

I don’t see the Nexus Q flying off the shelves anytime soon, but I can certainly see the potential in a device like this, and look forward to seeing what I consider to be a new approach at taking on the TV.

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6.0
Techno Buffalo Aug 12, 2012

For now, no. Google has explained that the Q is basically an experiment, so we can’t quite give it a definitive verdict... It certainly speaks volumes about where the product stands after indefinitely being pulled from the Play store, but progress as been made in unlocking a brighter future.

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4.0
michaelkeating michaelkeating

The Q is a beautifully designed, high-end product for Android users who already own sweet entertainment systems and want a media streamer to match. If you don't have an HDMI television, or a stereo with optical or banana plug connectors, AND an Android device for an interface, you can't use the...

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7.0
Idefreeze Idefreeze

The only thing it misses for now is the support of more media/apps. Unfortunately it's a major issue considering it's the only point of this device...

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5.0
romf romf

The Nexus Q is Google's attempt at providing a "social"-enabled content consumption device. The lack of storage is a deal-breaker -- you cannot save Google Play media for local playback, i.e., you need a fast broadband connection to make it work. In addition, content is limited, at the moment, to...

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